One of the many recent whistleblowers from within the FBI has claimed to be a witness to the bureau’s deliberate weaponization of the legal process against political opponents, seeking to make the process of prosecuting a crime just as painful for the accused as the punishment itself.
According to Just The News, FBI Special Agent Steve Friend, who is based out of Florida, said that his security clearance was recently suspended as a result of his whistleblowing efforts, thus leaving him without any pay.
In his formal whistleblower complaint filed to Congress, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Friend claims that the FBI is systematically violating the 6th and 8th Amendment rights of all the prisoners who have been arrested for peacefully protesting at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021. He also accused the bureau of deliberately inflating the number of alleged acts of “domestic extremism” in the country, in order to make right-wing terrorism seem like a greater threat than it actually is.
Friend said that, although he had been listed as a managing agent for all January 6th suspects in Florida, the investigations were still largely being run by agents out of Washington D.C., which he says is a violation of the FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide.
“That’s when I said to myself, ‘Look, we’re not running these cases ourselves, and that’s outside the rule, and we are setting ourselves up for a major fall,'” said Friend in an interview with Just The News. “So I brought that to my supervisor’s attention about my concerns, about not following FBI rules. I brought my concerns about potentially abusing power to him.”
Friend pointed out that, if the majority of the investigation work was done by agents from D.C. instead of by Friend himself, then his testimony at any subsequent trial would be pointless since he did not do any of the work.
“I just could foresee a pretty easily avoidable or bad situation where Steve Friend is the case agent on John Smith, who’s being prosecuted for Jan. 6,” he elaborated. “And then I’m put on the stand, because it’s my case. And you know, the defense attorney says, ‘Agent Friend, what did you do? You’re the case agent. And I would say, ‘I didn’t do anything.’ ‘Well, did you make this decision?’ ‘No, I didn’t.’ ‘Did your supervisor approve that?’ ‘No, he didn’t.’ And it just seemed like that was to be a massive problem.”
Speaking further on the treatment of January 6th prisoners, Friend said that “There’s no question that the process is the punishment.”
“I sat in an interview with somebody — I don’t know if they’re going to be charged with a crime — but the very fact that I was sitting there, and they were dealing with the stress of talking to FBI agents in a law office for an attorney who I’m sure was not free,” he went on. “If that gentleman doesn’t get charged with a crime, he’s still out, you know, having to pay his attorney. And he expressed to us he was going to be out of a job because his employer was upset with him being involved at all. So that’s somebody whose life was completely turned upside down and that doesn’t even begin to know if he’s going to be sitting in an orange jumpsuit at some point.”